A good recommendation letter states the writer's name and position, information about the relationship to the person referred, a judgment on the person's skills and abilities and descriptions of any instances in which the person excelled. Such letters are often written for job applicants and students.
The recommendation letter should be written in formal business format. The writer should introduce himself in the first paragraph, state the purpose of the letter and detail why he is qualified to write such a recommendation.
The next paragraph should include facts and details about the writer's relationship to the person referred. If the recommendation letter is for a job applicant, the letter should describe the writer's professional relationship to the person referred and describe the person's skills and abilities. If the letter is for a student applying for a grant or program, the letter should include details about the student's academic history and success.
In the penultimate paragraph, the letter should describe specific instances in which the person referred excelled. If the letter is for a job applicant, this paragraph could include information about a specific project or task. If it is for a student, this paragraph should include information about performance in a class. Finally, the letter should close on an upbeat note.